An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

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On an April evening in northwest Washington, D.C., 11 gardeners sat at picnic tables watching Eriks and Andrejs Brolis, co-owners of Urban Farm Plans, a landscape design company and urban farm school. Some participants looked as if they’d hurried straight from the office, wearing dresses or button-down shirts; others sported T-shirts and jeans.

Distillers Join the Fight Against Food Waste

Apples are processed to make spirits at Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Rachel Inman.

When Moose Koons offered to buy overripe, misshapen, and undersized fruit from farmers in Palisade, Colorado, their reactions were all the same. “They thought we were nuts!” he recalls.

The tattoo-covered skateboarder-turned-distiller convinced local farmers that the peaches, pears, and apples that supermarkets didn’t want were perfect for distilling into artisan spirits. Read More

Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Avoid Selling Out?

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The recent sale of Applegate Farms to the giant food conglomerate Hormel came as a surprise to many in the food world who saw Applegate as an important alternative to corporate-run meat production.

But the sale wasn’t unique; in fact, it was part of a much larger pattern. From Kashi to Stonyfield, and Celestial Seasonings to Honest Tea, big food companies, hoping to capitalize on increasing consumer demand for organic and “natural” foods, have been snapping up small operations for years. Read More

4 Things You Should Know About the FDA’s Trans Fat Ban

Bryan Ochalla

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told food manufacturers to stop using partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major source of artificial trans fats in processed foods ranging from nondairy creamers, to baked goods, margarine, and microwave popcorn. The move, the FDA said, “is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.” Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Seafood Rules, a Giant Algae Bloom, and the Pope Weighs in on Industrial Farming

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Catch up on this week’s food news with stories that caught our attention.

Three Simple Rules for Eating Seafood (The New York Times)

Paul Greenberg wrote American Catch and Four Fish, two important books that exposed most of us to the complexities of modern industrial fishing. In Sunday’s NYT, he distilled his research into three rules for eating seafood, a la Michael Pollan’s “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Greenberg’s rules starts with, “Eat American seafood.” Read More

These Kids’ Recipes Impressed Michelle Obama. Now They’re Headed to the White House

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Timothy Burke describes his trick for making spring rolls with rice paper, which is notoriously difficult. With a bit of translation from his mom, the shy eight year old said, You dip them in a wide plate of hot water, and turn them, then take them out of the water and place them on another plate before they get soft. Then you add the vegetables and roll it up fast. Easy. Read More